Belarus As A Tourist Destination

Belarus was formerly known as “White Russia” and is located between Russia and Poland bordering Ukraine to the south.

It is a country of wide plains, deep dark forests and over ten thousand lakes. There are also large tracts of wild, desolate marshland. Everywhere, the land is relatively flat with three major rivers running through it. These are the Neman, the Pripyat, and the Dnepr. The Dnepr river flows southward towards the Black Sea, whilst both the Neman and the Pripyat flow eastward and into the Dnepr.

Belarus As A Tourist Destination

Belarus As A Tourist Destination

The forests cover over one third of Belarus’s 80,000 square miles (about the same size as the state of Kansas or Great Britain). They are incredibly beautiful and mysterious places where birches, oaks, maple and pines provide shelter for European bison, bears, wolves, lynx, elk and deer. Where the forest ends, the tourist will find picturesque villages and historical monuments in the form of churches, monasteries and castles that date back to the twelfth century.

Minsk is the capital city where nearly two million of Belarus’s 10 million inhabitants live. It is situated in a picturesque location by the river Svisloch which was once one of the busiest trade routes connecting the Baltic and the Black seas. The city is a great centre of Belarusian culture, presenting the country’s story in its many museums and exhibitions. It is also the home of the world famous Belarusian Ballet.

Belarus is one of Europe’s poorest countries with an average monthly salary of $190 in 2007. It has an aging population, a negative population growth rate and high annual inflation. Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus remains very much a state controlled economy and is a presidential republic.

Belarus was devastated by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Although in the Ukraine, Chernobyl is located only 3 miles from the Belarus border and huge areas of Belarus’s agricultural land has remained contaminated ever since.

Climate

The climate of Belarus brings harsh winters and cool, damp summers to many parts. However, hot summers are not unusual, particularly in and around Minsk where temperatures often reach the high seventies Fahrenheit. An average rainfall of around 24 inches can be expected.

Visiting Belarus

Despite the poverty and hardships faced by this nation, it is definitely a country with a great deal to offer tourists looking for somewhere that it is off the beaten track. It is a country that invites exploration by those blessed with a sense of adventure or just the desire to visit places that have not been spoiled by mass tourism.

Yet Belarus is not difficult to get to, with regular flights from London and many other European cities. An alternative that will appeal to many is to combine a holiday in Belarus with a tour of adjoining countries: for example, flying out to Warsaw, touring Poland and then travelling by road into Belarus.

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